Who is Lisa?
Art Shay talks to Lisa Napoli for KCRW at drkrm, 2013, by Andy Romanoff
Over the last dozen years, I’ve written four books on a wide range of topics-from the dawn of democratic rule (and media) in the Kingdom of Bhutan, to a famous fast-food philanthropist, to the (unauthorized) origin stories of two of the most iconic media outlets in American history.
Before escaping daily journalism, I worked at a variety of news outlets (some of which no longer exist) including the New York Times CyberTimes, MSNBC, and the public radio show Marketplace, covering everything from presidential campaigns, artists in Los Angeles, the Waco hostage standoff, an outdoor hacker convention, and the then-emerging culture of the Internet and digital technology. Among my most unusual jobs has been as a producer at a pre-Internet home shopping network in New York called Q2.
Back when I lived in the American south, I directed two video documentaries, one on the kitsch tourist trap in Dillon, South Carolina called “South of the Border” and the other about NASCAR fans which I titled “Day at the Races.”
It’s fun to be asked to conduct live interviews that aren’t scripted or edited; over the years, I’ve been called on to chat up the likes of Terry McMillan, Pico Iyer, Naomi Shihab Nye, Seth Godin, Sheryl Wu-Dunn, Deepak Chopra, and Gretchen Rubin.
For over five years, I led an award-winning volunteer cooking group at the Downtown Women’s Center on Skid Row in Los Angeles. My other volunteer work includes serving as founding board president of the Bhutan Media Service, an all-volunteer news outlet created by Bhutanese refugees in diaspora, and co-hosting a podcast for Biographers International Organization.
A native of Brooklyn and a graduate of Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, I’m chipping away at a Master’s degree in biography/memoir at CUNY Graduate Center in NY.
Though there’s plenty to keep me busy, I’m always open to work, collaborations, speaking engagements, and/or invitations to swim in marvelous swimming pools.